Category Archives: Alzheimer’s

a make believe note to the doctor #ENDALZ

I read a lot:

I wonder if this make believe scenario could happen. . . . . . The caregiver and the parent arrive at the doctors office, the caregiver made the appointment, the parent has alzheimer’s. A note is passed to the receptionist. Here is what is written on it.

Dear Doctor. I have been a 24/7 caregiver for my parent for six years. It’s been three years since my parent recognized anyone. Incontinence has been part of our lives for the last year and a half. The resistance towards me helping is growing. If I don’t help, my parent will just sit around in that situation for hours. In fact, it almost seems to sedate my parent. Doctor, my parent is five foot eight inches tall and weighs one hundred and sixty pounds, doesn’t stop, always on the move, sleeps occasionally, I never know when, never know how long. I have no resources, we barely get by, I have no help. I don’t want to put my parent in a home because I think they will handle the situation with chemicals (medication). I don’t want that, but, and this is a big but, I’m asking you to do the same, unless you can tell me something else that will solve this situation. Doctor, I’m tired, worn down, I need some sleep. I need some help, and yes I know that the more medication, the more chances of my parent falling. Doctor, I can’t help my parent any, if I am dead. Is there anything we can give my parent, that will help me get some rest?

article – Veterans and alzheimer’s #ENDALZ

The rapidly climbing number of those affected with AD includes a growing population of aging military veterans affected who may have an added risk for the disease as a consequence of traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, and/or service-related injuries.

The paragraph above was cut and pasted from the article the link below will take you to. (2014)

a caregiver story

she came out on U.S.Highway 70 to tell me she was a caregiver for her mom, and that she, as the caregiver, was struggling some. She had not heard of the Alzheimer’s Association, so she took one of my cards and agreed to give me some feed back.

A couple of months later she phoned me to say she made the call, listened, heard something she liked and had already attended two support group meetings. The last time we chatted she is still involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.

This happened in 2013 while I was crossing America.

Alzheimer’s – some optimism #ENDALZ

Failed clinical trials and the continued lack of money for research leaves me with a feeling of pessimism. Bill and Melinda Gates getting involved is big to me, as they announced they are going to help scientists examine other theories. The longitudinal study in Columbia is exciting because they feel certain that everyone in the study will get alzheimer’s. The NIH is setting aside some money for new scientists, with fresh ideas. Thoughts of those things brings a feeling of optimism.

Hearing success stories from caregivers, accounts of them adapting, reading about laws being passed that may help them, and reading about the growth of support groups, memory cafes and more community involvement brings optimism.

Reading that our nation, as a whole, is eating healthier and exercising more is great news. That’s talk about prevention right there, good talk.

A lot of progress has been made in many areas. Necessity, sometimes, can be the mother of invention.

7 days to another Milestone #ENDALZ

At “Across the Land” I have spent a lot of my time giving out the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline phone number. It’s been given out on cards, bracelets, media and word of mouth. Something, right at the beginning, convinced me that is where I could make a big impact, and that was, and still is, important.

I was able to begin “giving back” because my children were on their own and doing well. I’ve curtailed my activities from time to time because mom has needed my help, so I do what I can, when I can.

I began the “Across the Land” project because I believe it’s important to be a part of helping society with difficult situations. It’s good being able to do something that’s both impactful and interesting, and I will continue on, as I can.

Milestones are important to celebrate. Psychologist tell me it’s part of what keeps us human beings going. It works for me.

Facility visit – Ross Woods – Dalton Georgia

It was about 5 years ago that we were allowed to visit this facility in Dalton Georgia. It, I’m pretty sure, was full and it was impressive, to say the least. Being able to leave a family member or friend with trained folks is of great value.

Adult day care provides caregivers with much-needed respite, giving them a break to run errands, spend time with family or just get away from the stress of caregiving.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s events

A few pictures from some of the walks we attended . . . . .

The face of Alzheimer’s disease

Auguste Deter

This is, of course, one of a few million faces, and many more will follow, yeah no cure. This, or pictures of others with alzheimer’s is what I want my congressmen or women to see.

No, I don’t want to take for granted what they have or haven’t seen. I’m pretty darn sure a lot of folks have no idea of how horrific this disease, and many other diseases are.

I gotta get better at this awareness raising stuff, ah, and I will.

my advice to me as a caregiver 

A definition of the word “Embrace” – an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.

Embrace it, it’s real, it’s here to stay because of who you are inside. That’s your mom, and no matter what occurs, or when, you will make sure she is safe. 

Get a legal pad and a pencil, with an eraser, and start writing. Put on paper the parts of your life caregiving may adversely affect and work to improve the areas you can. Make sure family and friends know you didn’t abandon them. 

Stop being frustrated and thinking life can go back to the way it once was, because it probably will never be the same.

Have fun, get excited, stay strong and help your mom. 

Also, when you can, take a little time off, and when you do, enjoy it. You have family that will help. 

P.S. Go on and have a Great Life while doing the right thing. You, my friend, are one “Persistent” dude!

no treatments yet . . . . . trying to be patient here (alzheimer’s) 

They say things get better with time, and that time heals everything, but the reality is, that what won’t get better, won’t heal, I must accept . . . .  for now. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease” This bothers me, it bothers me because of the loss of my father and millions of others to this horrific disease, and it is that, horrific. The first official case was recorded in 1906 by Dr. Aloysius Alzheimer. 

Call me impatient, but . . . . . 

I wonder what others think of the rate of progress in the search for treatments.